Push for atheist Scout oath is damned by Anglican priest

Priest says call for a new pledge allowing atheists to join the Scouts is enough to make him eat his woggle

LAST UPDATED AT 14:39 ON Tue 4 Dec 2012

AN ANGLICAN priest has condemned a move by the Scouting movement to recognise atheism on a par with Christianity and other religions.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the Rev Dr Peter Mullen says the idea of a new Scout oath allowing atheists to become Scouts and Scout group leaders was enough to "make me eat my woggle".

The Scouts were founded as a Christian organisation - not a body with "paid-up membership of the Amalgamated Coven of Tree-Huggers", writes Mullen who bemoans what he sees as a bad case of political correctness.

The Scouting movement is consulting its members about a new Scout Promise - the oath taken by all new fulltime members - that does not require them to "do their duty to God". The BBC says the move follows accusations of "discrimination and intolerance" when 11-year-old George Pratt was barred from joining a Scout Group in Somerset earlier this year. Pratt said he could not take the Scout Promise because he does not believe in God.

In an opinion piece in today's Daily Telegraph the chief executive of the Scout Association, Derek Twine, says the organisation's current rules force people to be "hypocritical or dishonest" when they take the Promise, regardless of their beliefs.

He calls the move to modify the oath as an "historic change" and says all organisations like the Scouts need to "stay fresh and current" while remaining true to founding principles.

Mullen doubts if atheists can take vows, saying: "A vow means a solemn promise, and solemnity is something which belongs to the realm of religious faith and practice."

The BBC points out that the Scouts introduced alternative versions of the Promise more than 40 years ago allowing Hindus and Buddhists to substitute "my Dharma", and Muslims "Allah", instead of God. Scouts who don't live in the UK can replace the phrase "duty to the Queen with "duty to the country in which I am now living".

In March, the National Secular Society, which aims to restrict the role of religion in public life, wrote to the Chief Scout Bear Grylls, complaining that atheist children were being excluded or having to lie to join the movement.

The society's president Terry Sanderson told The Independent today the push for a new oath was a "move in the right direction" that would put an end to "unpleasant confrontations".

The Scouting movement insists the existing Scout Promise would continue to be used alongside a new secular version. · 

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" Mullen doubts if atheists can take vows, saying: "A vow means a solemn promise, and solemnity is something which belongs to the realm of religious faith and practice." "
Excuse me? What a load of tosh...
Plus... since when was the Scout Promise referred to as a vow anyway?

Tosh indeed! I used to be a Boy Scout. The oath was meaningless. All we wanted to do was go camping

Why not just a promise to be considerate to others, regardless of creed or nationality or anything else?

Mullen is a disrespectful little lamb of the flock, now isn't he?

If atheists can't take vows, how can they get married...?

How on earth does one become both a 'Dr' AND a 'Rev' and yet be so completely unacquainted with the expression "when you're in a hole, stop digging"?

Well I suppose an Anglican priest would damn a children's oath wouldn't he? I mean if they aren't sodomizing children they are damning them. Strange bunch, hard to believe they have managed their con this long.

What annoys me is the presumption that he is right. The scouting organisation should be open to all children as it promotes goodness and personal development. Goodness is not just the province of those that believe in a god.

Grinch whom stole xmas

Dear Rev Dr Peter Mullen,

Get a real job. Bon apatite.

And who gives a damn about his damn. Damned if I do.

And when Christian take vows they're meaningless anyway, just ask the Rev. Mullen. He broke his vows before his god and his first wife when committed adultery. He even wrote all about it in the Independent.

This ignorant man has clearly not understood the purpose of becoming a scout and should not be allowed to comment any further on the subject. The true meaning of being a scout is so much greater than this! It is not intended only for Christians, hence the world wide family of scouts!

"A vow means a solemn promise, and solemnity is something which belongs to the realm of religious faith and practice."

What a %@$#& *@&$^!!! The only design evident here is that his words are designed to provoke! I am sick and tired of religious people thinking they have a monopoly on anything else but grown-up pretending! The #^&%^&$% #^&%$^@% thinks that the non-religious are slightly less than fully human.

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